Descartes Self Analysis

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Midterm Exam Dr. Aquino An integral part of Descartes’ conception of the “self” is what he identifies as the cogito. The cogito is the rationale that he exists because he is “a thinking thing.” He comes to this conclusion because he believed reality could only be reached through reason and logic. Therefore, anything in the external world cannot be known with absolute certainty. He doubts the existence of everything because of this, except the fact that he has the ability to doubt. He obviously has the capacity to think because of this, and arrives at the previous statement. However, this also denotes a concept of what “I” or the “self” is. This “I” is the ability to reason, for Descartes our consciousness that allows us to reason is what the…show more content…
To Hume, every idea that we have comes from impressions of our senses. The “self” is what Hume refers to as the “ego.” By ego, Hume means we are a bundle of our perceptions and senses. His reasoning is that while we think of ourselves as being stable over time, we cannot observe ourselves objectively. Whatever we recognize to be our “self” is past feelings, sensations, and experiences. We have our memory of all of these, but there is not anything that solely connects them. Another way to understand his argument is that we are similar to “links on a chain.” Without the links between chains, it ceases to be a chain, but our only concept of what allows a chain to be a chain is the links. In the same way, trying to delve into what connects our perceptions, feelings, and memories over time is impossible because we only conceptualize them in so far as they’re connected. It is beyond our capacity to find evidence to what essentially connects them; therefor there is no logical argument for a “unified self.” We can never be completely aware of ourselves for these reasons, and using logic to extrapolate that there is a “self” cannot be…show more content…
Our state of being is not contingent on our physical body, rather it outside of the body. While the “self” is related to the body, the “self” is completely separate from it. Kant posits that our ideas are able to be perceived because we have some type of “self.” These ideas allow us to interact with the physical world and make sense of it, and these ideas have to come from somewhere. Even if we rid our minds of every idea we have, our conception of time and space remain. This idea of space and time, of spatial temporal qualities, is something that is inside of us and cannot be removed. This knowledge is what is called a priori, meaning that it is a pre-condition of existence that is not based on experience. Uniting these a priori conditions and the external world the “transcendental self”

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